Cell Death in Mammalian Ovary

Cell Death in Mammalian Ovary

By Gerardo H. Vázquez-Nin , María Luisa Escobar , M. De Felici , Olga Margarita Echeverría and Francesca Gioia Klinger

The ovary is a suitable organ for studying the processes of cell death. Cell death was first described in the rabbit ovary (Graaffian follicles), the phenomenon being called ‘chromatolysis’. To date, it is recognized that various forms of cell death (programmed cell death, apoptosis and autophagy) are essential components of ovarian development and function. Programmed cell death is responsable for the ovarian endowment of primordial follicles around birth; in the prepuberal and adult period, apoptosis is a basic mechanism by which oocytes are eliminated by cancer therapies and environmental toxicants; in the ovarian cycle, follicular atresia and luteal regression involve follicular cell apoptosis. Finally, abnormalities in cell death processes may lead to ovarian disease such as cancer and chemoresistance. In this book, after an introductory description of various forms of cell death and of the ovary development and function in mammals, the processes of cell death in ovarian somatic cells and oocytes are described at cytological, physiological and molecular levels and analyzed in the embryonic, prepuberal and adult ovary. A complex array of molecular pathways triggered by extrinsic and intrinsic signals able tor induce or suppress cell death in the same cell, according to cell type and ovary developmental stage, emerges. Physiological interactions with the axis hypothalamus-hypophysis as well as ovarian internal functional signal are also critically reviewed to explain the abortive development of follicles before the beginning of the ovarian cycle. The book conveys information useful to the updating of biologists and physicians who are interested to the ovary biology and functions. Hopefully it should provide also clues for stimulating novel experiments in the study of cell death in the mammalian ovary still at an early stage.

  • The book is a concise and updated exposition of the different forms of cell death in the ovary of mammals.
  • “Cell Death in Mammalian Ovary” is a book that covers the morphological, physiological and molecular aspects of cell death processes occurring in the mammalian ovary from embryo to adult.
  • “Cell Death in Mammalian Ovary” is a reference book on processes of cell death in the ovary of fetal to adult mammals
Table of Contents


Brief Description of the Histological, Cytological and Functional Aspects of the Ovary

Embryonic Development of the Ovary, Sexual Reproduction and Meiosis

Development of the Ovary in the Embryo, Infancy, Childhood, Pre-puberty and Puberty

General Aspects of Cell Death





Process of Cell Death Embryonic Ovary

Programmed Cell Death in Fetal Oocytes

DNA Damage and Apoptosis in Fetal and Ovarian Reserve Oocytes

Prefollicular Cells

Process of Cell Death Prepubertal Ovary

Prepubertal Oocytes

Follicular Cells

Process of Cell Death Adult Ovary

Follicular Atresia in Adult Animals


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